In a televised address, Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr demanded the dissolution of the Iraqi Parliament and the holding of early legislative elections. While the country is paralyzed by political disputes, he felt that there is “no interest” in dialogue with his adversaries.
In a context of total political paralysis, the powerful Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr demanded in a televised speech, Wednesday August 3, the dissolution of the Iraqi Parliament, as well as early legislative elections.
A dissolution of Parliament can only be done by an absolute majority vote, according to the Iraqi constitution. It can be requested by one third of the deputies, or by the Prime Minister with the agreement of the President of the Republic.
Tensions have escalated in Iraq after Moqtada al-Sadr rejected a candidate for prime minister put forward by his adversaries, the pro-Iran Shia factions that form the influential Coordination Framework.
“I am sure that the majority of the population is exasperated by the ruling class in its entirety, including some (politicians) belonging to my Current”, acknowledged the Shiite leader in his speech broadcast Wednesday evening on local televisions. “From now on, there will be no more former figures, whatever their affiliation”, he assured, proposing “a peaceful revolutionary democratic process, then early democratic elections after the dissolution of the current Parliament “.
This is the first public statement from the troublemaker of Iraqi political life since his supporters invaded the seat of Parliament by the thousands on Saturday to install a sit-in there.
In search of a head of government
The Sadrist Current had won the last legislative elections of October 2021 hands down, with 73 elected in the Parliament of 329 deputies.
But in June, Moqtada al-Sadr created a surprise by causing his deputies to resign, having failed with his allies to appoint a prime minister and form a “majority” government.
After this resignation, the adversaries of the Coordination Framework became the main Shiite bloc within the hemicycle. The alliance includes the former paramilitaries of Hachd al-Chaabi and the party of former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, historical enemy of Moqtada al-Sadr. At the end of July, she presented the candidacy for the post of Prime Minister of Mohamed Chia al-Soudani, a 52-year-old former minister and former provincial governor.
Nearly ten months of negotiations and political squabbles between the parties have not allowed Iraq to appoint a new President of the Republic or a head of government.
Moqtada al-Sadr launched a campaign of maximum pressure against his adversaries, and demonstrated that he was still capable of mobilizing the crowds to advance his pawns: twice at the end of July his supporters invaded Parliament, setting up a camp.
“The revolutionaries and protesters participating in the sit-in must stay and continue their camp until the demands are implemented,” he insisted.
Repeated calls for dialogue
The Shiite leader’s speech comes at a time when calls for dialogue are increasing on the political scene.
“Serious dialogues which can give hope of resolving differences (…) begin with respect for constitutional institutions”, launched Wednesday evening in a laconic tweet Nouri al-Maliki, in reference to the occupation of Parliament. Because in an attempt to find a way out of the crisis, Prime Minister Moustafa Al-Kadhimi, who handles current affairs, had recently proposed a “national dialogue”.
The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) also called for “meaningful dialogue” between all parties, saying it was “more urgent than ever”.
French President Emmanuel Macron also spoke with Iraqi leaders on Tuesday to tell them “of his concern about the situation in Iraq”, according to the Elysee. He “said his availability to contribute to dialogue and consultation” between the different parties, seeing in it “the only way that can help find a way out of the crisis”.
But a dialogue is not on Moqtada al-Sadr’s agenda. “We have already tried and experienced dialogue with them, but it has brought nothing to us and to the nation, even ruin and corruption (…) despite their promises”, he castigated . There is “no interest to be expected from such a dialogue”.
Source: France 24